Jun 5, 2023 11:00:00 AM | 6 Min Read

6 Treatments & Therapies for Dementia

Posted By Vista Springs
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6 Treatments & Therapies for Dementia

Dementia is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. The accumulation of amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain causes cognitive impairments associated with dementia. 

While this condition is not cured, early detection can help diagnose and treat dementia. Medications treat its symptoms; there are lifestyle interventions and supportive care therapies. These options are available to improve the quality of life for those suffering from this condition.

Medications for Dementia Treatments

Drugs for dementia treatment are cholinesterase inhibitors, which increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Which helps improve thinking skills and memory for some people with mild to moderate dementia.

  • Aricept (donepezil) - approved for creating acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) levels in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
  • Exelon (rivastigmine) - approved for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
  • Memantine (Namenda)- approved for intermediate to severe Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body dementia, and combined Alzheimer's disease with vascular dementia.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a treatment that helps people with dementia live more. It enables you to deal with the emotional and behavioral effects of dementia, such as depression, anxiety, or anger. There are many types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and supportive psychotherapy. 

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is an activity that helps people with dementia to solve some abilities problems. CST helps patients improve their memory and engage in activities they enjoy.

It also encourages social interaction between people with dementia, caregivers, and family members.

You can try CST therapy at home or in groups. Either way, it offers an enjoyable and rewarding structured activity for those experiencing cognitive decline due to dementia. This therapy provides structured training that is both enjoyable and rewarding.

The idea is to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. These activities help foster engagement and interaction, enhancing the well-being of individuals with dementia.

Music Therapy

Music therapy can help with communication, mood, behavior, and cognition. You can also treat it with other medicines to help with memory, concentration, and attention. Music is one of the oldest forms of treatment for dementia patients. Studies show that music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues common in the disease's middle stages.

Music therapists will work with a person diagnosed with dementia or as part of a group setting, depending on their needs at any given time. The sessions usually last about 45 minutes, but may vary depending on the topics.

Lifestyle Interventions

The World Health Organization highlights a guide to promote healthier lives. Lifestyle choices today can impact our health in old age, emphasizing the importance of proactive action.

The recommendations include the following:

  • Do physical activity (at least 150 minutes per week)
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Limit salt intake
  • Try activities that help you reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increases social interaction

Supportive Care and Therapeutic Approaches

Supportive and therapeutic approaches, including specialized memory care, play a vital role. It encompasses physical, social, and emotional support to enhance the quality of life for individuals with dementia. Memory care addresses memory impairment and provides tailored interventions. 

Music, art, and pet therapy approaches enhance cognitive stimulation, emotional well-being, and quality of life.

These holistic approaches work in synergy with other treatments to provide comprehensive care and support for individuals and their families.

Alternative Therapies for Dementia

Alternative therapies help improve your quality of life by managing different symptoms:

  • Art therapy offers a creative outlet to express ourselves, connect with others, and communicate emotions. Engaging in activities such as painting, drawing, or even sculpting can stimulate our cognitive function, improve our mood, and reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. 
  • Therapeutic activities like gardening and playing games can enhance cognitive function, stimulate memories, and promote a sense of accomplishment. Gardening, for example, provides sensory stimulation through touch, smell, and visual engagement with nature. Playing games, such as puzzles or memory games, can help improve cognitive skills.

You can use alternative therapies for dementia as complementary approaches alongside conventional medical treatments. By considering these factors, we can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits of alternative therapies and their role in improving the lives of individuals affected by dementia.

The proper treatment tailored to the needs of each patient is essential.

The proper treatment tailored to the needs of each patient is essential. The needs of each patient are different, so the treatment should tailor to them. 

Dementia is a progressive illness that worsens over time, so as we mentioned before, there's no cure for it once you have it. The goal is to treat symptoms so that you or your loved ones can live as long as possible, without becoming dependent on others.

Dementia is a complex disease that demands a multifaceted approach to treatment. Recognizing some treatments will help you more than others; having open discussions with your doctor is crucial to identify the optimal strategies for you.

Know More About Memory Care

Topics: Dementia

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